ADVERTS! That’s probably the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear ‘blogs, and millions’. But now you’re probably thinking of how to create a blog and get adverts on it so quickly, isn’t it?
Or make money like Linda Ikeji and buy that four hundred million naira (NGN400, 000, 000.00) dream house. Right!
You sure want to learn how to create a blog and post useful content that reaches your ideal audience and get them to read and share.
Now, lets roll up our sleeves and review how to create a blog (stay with me). Let me start by giving you some of the basic things that you should sort out before thinking of monetizing your blog.
I like the simple way Karen Evans puts it in her post
- Choose the right blogging platform
- Get your domain name and hosting
- Design your blog
- Add posts and pages
- Start growing your blog.
Now, I wont delve into the first three initial stages on how to create a blog that people want to read and share, rather, I will be focusing on the last two stages which involves adding posts and pages and growing the blog.
Mind you, in creating this blog, you should have established the aim and your target audience before proceeding to this step.
Now, lets inch further to our goals on how to create a blog.
I know you may have a lot of thoughts going on in your head, like: How do I write bomb contents that people actually want to read? How do I deal with writers block?
How can I frequently get feeds which are interesting, and also get engaging content for my audience at the same time?
Don’t worry, don’t get goosebumps just yet.
Creating a blog and achieving your goals with it really doesn’t involve equations and quantum physics. You don’t have to have the ‘talented writers touch’ or the ‘calling-to-writing per say.
You can do it!
Now, with this knowledge I’m going to share with you. Posting traffic-attracting articles on your blog will be a breeze, and watch out, you may even start to hand out advice to baby bloggers soon. *wink*
While I was planning this post, I came up with the idea of using one of Nigeria’s foremost blogger Linda Ikeji, to just give a practical approach to the juicy stuff that I’ll be showing you in just a bit.
Having engaging content doesn’t just involve having an idea you feel is captivating enough and putting it down on paper or on the computer, it also involves strategies and tactics which I will be explaining soon.
If you really want to create this blog and earn big bucks, stay with me and keep reading.
So I’ve sectioned the various things which Linda does to achieve ‘traffic gaining content’ that her audience want to read and share:
Gaining ideas from trending sources, even social media!
This is where Linda Ikeji varies from other bloggers, even the conventional news websites.
Like you, at the beginning, she probably thought of how to create a blog that is engaging enough to her audience for them to read, comment and share her post?
Another big worry every new-bee blogger has to face is traffic acquisition, how can you build an audience of readers and attract them to your blog. You do want them reading and commenting, don’t you?
Since Linda Ikeji had gossip at the back of her mind (which is a good subject that will actually make people want to read), what other way to get gossip than from trending sources!
Sticking to a particular content which adds no value whatsoever, or is not relevant to your audience will leave them less interested in your blog and increase your bounce rate.
Which is a No! No! Right?
In creating your blog, get ideas just from what people are currently talking about and keep out that writer’s block! Don’t just blog about it, give it a little twist!
If you’re an informational writer, use Google Search Engine; which is free, to know what people are searching for. For instance, lets search for, ‘online marketing agencies in Abuja’?
You realize that as you type in each letter of the search term into Google, the search engine makes suggestions based on what other users are searching for. You can review the options and think of ways you can provide answers that will benefit those users.
And Ta Da! You’ve gotten a clue.
Isn’t this just a quick way to see what people are searching for online?
Although Google search engine is quick, it is not as detailed as using Google adword tool whereby you type in your keywords, like ‘how to create a blog’, then Google generates a database on the amount of times people have searched for such words, and gives you other ideas to use in its place.
Buzzsumo is also a good and easy way to generate content ideas. It is an online tool that enables users to find out what content is popular by topic or on any website.
Just type in any topic or keywords like: how to create a blog, into the search box and Buzzsumo will reveal a list of the most shared links on that topic by other websites, which tells you exactly what your audience demands to gain from your post. This will further help you to create the best blog content!
Fantastic isn’t it!
Various online tools have come up with ways to take the stress off you. *whew*
You can get to know more about the cool benefits of Buzzsumo with the valuable insights shared by Rand Fishkin in this post.
Words like how, what, when, why, who, are major things people search for. Also, phrases like: How to create a blog? What is Kims surname? When do you know when and egg is boiled properly? etc.
Quora is also a good platform to get a lot of complaints people have, and issues they have to solve, which you can help them with.
Do you know that spending just a bit of your time out of the 24hrs in a day on social media platforms is a good way to keep up with the trends in the society, and to familiarize yourself with them?
All you have to do is browse through and have fun, but have it at the back of your mind that you’re in search of news worthy stories that will interest your readers.
This is a tactic Linda Ikeji uses; she creates punchy headlines with the news she gets just at the comfort of her internet, and uses them to her advantage (see pictures below).
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Nairaland, Linkedin, Google+, and a host of others keep you updated on what is happening around.
Even go as far subscribing for newsletters from conventional online news platforms, as they can come in handy to create or buttress your point.
Gather your keywords and make use of them. These are also a source of ideas to blog about. You want to write something your audience can flow with, and relate to.
Don’t be a bore! In creating a blog, humor your readers
Variety as we all know is the spice of life.
You may be wondering, how does how to create a blog involve variety and spices?
Don’t worry, I wouldn’t take you to the kitchen just to tell you more.
Mostly, your audience just wants to unwind, and get out of that monotonous every-day life; reading your blog might just be the spice added to their life. So bring in various things and concepts which you may have also gotten from surfing the net.
If a story seems bland at the on-set, it may not be. You probably just have to dig a bit further like Sherlock holmes and discover what others wouldn’t realize. And, Jackpot! you have got a mega story which everyone wants to read.
Think out of the box! (See picture below)
Try blogging about various themes and ideas. Don’t stick to the usual posts. Make yourself unpredictable. Such excitement and thrill will leave your audience wanting more.
Don’t just place all your content out there! Like, ‘How to create a Blog? You can create a blog through social media. Every social media platform is good avenue to get news…’
If you have that on your homepage, people will have already gotten the information they need from you, and wouldn’t have to open up the content or find out more on what you have to offer. Hence, you loose more traffic.
That sounds scary, doesn’t it?
Gauge the extent your reader is willing to go in finding out what you have to say. Leave that cat curious and wanting more.
Such strategy engrosses your audience into your content if done properly. Like this:
Please, keep it short and simple
Probably after going through various files, documents, reading academic books, encyclopedias, etc, the last thing your reader wants to encounter is another long proof and theory from you. That will be a very huge put off.
Bear in mind that you are not the only blogger out there feeding the reader with content. My social media news feed is swamping with tons of content and I can barely keep up.
So how can you make your content stand out?
Statistics show that the average human has an attention span from 12 below.
This gives you little to no time at all in gaining and keeping the attention of your audience. Hence, if you start off with them having to get a dictionary, then you will lose them.
You want to use words that a child in the fourth grade will easily understand, and you also want to keep the attention of that fourth grade. Use simple words like: How to create a blog? What is the recipe for Jollof rice? etc
Appeal to your audience with engaging content!
You want to use various ways to appeal to the senses of your audience.
Use the human angle in every story, as this shows how your audience will be affected by your post. No one wants to hear about things that don’t affect, interest or bother them.
Linda Ikeji does this with most of her stories.
Various appeals like:
Humor appeal: drop a little something there to lighten up the mood!
Never let everything be business as usual; although, this depends on the aim of your blog. But, a little laughter goes a long way. It warms the audience up to be receptive to your blog post, and encourages them to read more. (See picture below)
Shock/Fear appeal: this is a major point of attraction for your audience. Shocking stories will encourage them to find out exactly what happened; how, where and when it occurred, and sometimes, even how to prevent it. (See pictures below)
Gossip appeal: as the saying goes, “It is easier to dam a river than to stop gossip”. Why not bank on what is ‘ever available’? Take to various social media platforms, keep up with celebrities and their commentaries…
This is also a good form to break monotony.
In this case, gossips sells. But remember, you just want the audience to know, you don’t want to be messy and step on peoples toes or be an unwanted intruder. (See pictures below)
Rational appeal: bring in the current issues in the society, and get people to comment on how they feel. This is good as it encourages a more personal relationship with you and your audience, and it helps you know how to get to them better.
For instance, if blogging is an issue in your community or society, you can blog about ‘How to create a blog’, explain the various steps involved, ask people for their own opinions and questions, and if they have anything contrary to your post; be open to suggestions and evaluate on their opinions.
Flirting here is good: Peek-a-boo!
Don’t place all contents on your blog on the home page.
Build up the tension, make your readers eager and engrossed in your article. Create punchy headlines and secretive leads with a picture that leaves them wanting to know more.
Headlines like How to? Top 10!, etc, are good ways to grab your audience attention. eg. Top 10 ways to use Lemon, How to create a blog. Ways to use dumbbells to lose arm fat, etc.
Pictures can never be overemphasized when you think of how to create a blog
Imagine this post without a picture…
Keeping the attention of a very distracted audience requires something that is colorful and attractive, something eye-catching that will keep them interested and curious. And what is more attractive than the capturing of stand-still time.
Pictures not only keep the attention of your target audience, it makes your blog easier to read for the stress-preventive audience, and it breaks the monotony for the already bored audience.
Psstt… over here… it also beautifies your blog, and makes your words come to life, which is a plus, isn’t it?
Note, it is a vivid picture that explains more about an event than just mere packed words and imagination. Hence, make sure you have sources and pictures for whatever article or story you may want to post.
After all is said and done, go ahead and start promoting and marketing your content!
This leads to reaching out.
Emails can be sent to various bloggers, writers and contacts that are successful in your line of blogging, to reference your content in their own blog post. Also, ask them to share your article on their various social media handles, and even encourage them to comment on it.
This creates backlinks for your site which further pushes you up the blogging scale.
Now remember to be sweet, subtle and mannered when requesting for a mention on your contacts site. Nobody likes or would want to help a rude person.
In hitting the big bucks with your blog, you should beat already existing content on every level: length, design, current information, creating a personal relationship with your audience; and add a little sprinkle of gossip. All these are greatly capitalized on Linda’s blog.
So, go ahead, make that mega box and create that banging content! Research your audience, your keywords, content and competitors and link up that blog with richly written articles.
Are you a blogger looking to monetize your blog like Linda does, let me know your thoughts on this in the comment box below.